TOKYO – The remains of three soldiers missing in action from the Vietnam War were to be buried Wednesday in Arlington National Cemetery, the Defense Department POW/Missing Personnel Office announced.
The remains of Army Capt. Arnold E. Holm Jr. of Waterford, Conn.; Spc. Robin R. Yeakley of South Bend, Ind.; and Pfc. Wayne Bibbs of Chicago were to be buried as a group, in a single casket, according to a DOD release.
On June 11, 1972, Holm, the pilot of a OH-6A Cayuse helicopter, his observer Yeakley and his door gunner Bibbs were flying a reconnaissance mission in Thua Thien-Hue Province, South Vietnam. As the aircraft made a second pass over a ridge where enemy bunkers had been sighted, it exploded and crashed, exploding again upon impact, according to the release. Crews of other U.S. aircraft involved in the mission reported receiving enemy ground fire as they overflew the crash site looking for survivors.
A U.S.-Vietnam team, led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command made several trips to the region between 1993 and 2008, interviewing witnesses, investigating, surveying and excavating possible crash sites. They discovered human remains, wreckage from a OH-6A helicopter and crew-related equipment, including two identification tags bearing Yeakley’s name.
Since 1973, the remains of more than 900 servicemen have been accounted for from the Vietnam War. More than 1,600 Americans are still missing.